The Harbor Report: Get in line to dispose of your boat

I have only a few harbor items to update you on this week.

Orange County received a grant from the Division of Boating and Waterways for the Vessel Turn In Program (VTIP). We have two newly appointed harbor commissioners. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is still considering implementing a Lands Pass to access parts of the Back Bay trail. The Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club will be hosting the Leukemia Cup Regatta on July 13 as part of the Newport High Point Series.

When checking in with Deputy Sean Scoles of the Newport Beach Harbor Patrol this week, I was informed that the county received a grant from the Division of Boating and Waterways' VTIP program. This means if you have a derelict boat in the harbor, you can access this grant to dispose of your vessel.

You had better hurry up because the county received only $5,000, and I know of more than one boat out on our moorings that can take advantage of this grant. Personally, I am very disappointed in the amount we received, although Scoles assured me that this was a start and, in time, the program could grow. Let's hope that owners of these derelict boats are informed of this program and start a waiting list.

This last week, the City Council appointed two new harbor commissioners, David Girling and Joseph Stapleton. Girling, the incumbent, has held the seat for little over a year. When he was first selected by the City Council, I thought, how is a non-boater going to have any clue about what's going on in the harbor?

I was completely wrong in my assumption. He has turned out to be one of the hardest-working commissioners I have witnessed in my five years of attending Harbor Commission meetings, and he is very approachable.

Our newest harbor commissioner is Stapleton. He is 29 years old and has lived on the Balboa Peninsula for the past seven years. Over the past five years, he has been active in the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce Commodores Club.

After I talked with him on the phone this week, it became obvious that he had done his due diligence in preparation for taking his seat on the commission. Stapleton has plans to run for City Council and has expressed a concern for the marine industry and its access to the harbor.

Mayor Keith Curry sent a letter to the director of the CDFW, Carlton Bonham, this last week expressing our City Council's concerns over the agency imposing a Lands Pass in the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve. The CDFW had posted signs, recently removed, notifying people of the need for a pass costing $4.32 per person per day or $22.68 per year.

The state owns most of the Back Bay, and how it intends to implement a type of permit/fishing license for all bay users is beyond me. Curry's letter offered a list of concerns and asked the CDFW to consider rescinding the Land Pass demand.

Like I said, I can't imagine how this can be enforced, but I have been wrong before. I never thought the city could keep us from transferring our mooring permits.

The Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club is hosting the Leukemia Cup Regatta on July 13. This is the second-to-last event in the Newport High Point Series. Roy Jones' J/133 Tango holds a one-point lead over the Richley family's Amante. The Newport High Point Series consists of five races spread out over the year.

It's still anyone's race, and we will be pressing hard to make up the 14-point lead Tango has over us aboard Linstar.

Sea ya.

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

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